sourness, with roughness or astringency of taste.
harshness or severity, as of temper or expression.
Historical Examples

“Thank ye kindly,” the big man replied with some acerbity, and plunged out into the darkness and rain.
Bob, Son of Battle Alfred Ollivant

After a time Mern suggested with acerbity that Craig was incoherent.
Joan of Arc of the North Woods Holman Day

“Of course we like good manners, though they are not your weakness,” interrupts his wife, with acerbity.
A House-Party Ouida

Much annoyed, I answered with some acerbity, bidding her kindly to be gone.
Fibble, D. D. Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb

Several ladies were in there, buying perfumes, and they looked with acerbity at this disordered dirty female entering among them.
Saint’s Progress John Galsworthy

“I have no doubt he is a thief,” continued Aunt Maria, with acerbity.
Phil the Fiddler Horatio Alger, Jr.

Instead of heeding this witness she went on with acerbity: “It might surely have occurred to you that something would come up.”
What Maisie Knew Henry James

“And a jolly lot that means to me,” retorted Masters, with acerbity.
The Tempering Charles Neville Buck

His acerbity passed away, and in later life was reserved exclusively for official witnesses before parliamentary committees.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 2 Various

“Certainly not that of Evolution,” she said with some acerbity.
The Song of the Wolf Frank Mayer

noun (pl) -ties
vitriolic or embittered speech, temper, etc
sourness or bitterness of taste

1570s, from Middle French acerbité, from Latin acerbitatem (nominative acerbitas) “harshness, sharpness, bitterness,” from acerbus “bitter to taste, sharp, sour, tart” (related to acer “sharp;” cf. Latin superbus “haughty,” from super “above”), from Proto-Italic *akro-po- “sharp,” from PIE *ak- “sharp” (see acrid). Earliest use in English is figurative, of “sharp and bitter” persons. Of tastes, from 1610s.


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